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1. An event or happening, or the time of an event or happening: On several occasions, we saw him riding a motorcycle.
2. A significant event, especially a large or important social gathering: The reception proved to be quite the occasion.
3. A favorable or appropriate time or juncture: saw the layoff as an occasion to change careers. See Synonyms at opportunity.
a. A cause of or reason for something: a trade disagreement that furnished the occasion for war. See Synonyms at cause.
b. A need created by a particular circumstance: "He must buy what he has little occasion for" (Laurence Sterne).
5. occasions Archaic Personal requirements or necessities.
tr.v. oc·ca·sioned, oc·ca·sion·ing, oc·ca·sions
To provide occasion for; cause: "The broadcast and its immediate aftermath occasioned a cascade of media commentary" (Lewis Sorley).
on occasion
From time to time; now and then.
rise to the occasion
To find the ability to deal with an unexpected challenge.
take the occasion
To make use of the opportunity (to do something).

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin occāsiō, occāsiōn-, from occāsus, past participle of occidere, to fall : ob-, down; see ob- + cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


pl n
1. (sometimes singular) needs; necessities
2. personal or business affairs
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.occasions - something you have to dooccasions - something you have to do; "he minded his own specialized occasions"
business - an immediate objective; "gossip was the main business of the evening"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
We often feel that something in our sensible environment is familiar, without having any definite recollection of previous occasions on which we have seen it.
It is known that the governor claims the right of nomination, upon the strength of some ambiguous expressions in the constitution; but it is not known to what extent, or in what manner he exercises it; nor upon what occasions he is contradicted or opposed.
"For," says Herbert to me, coming home to dinner on one of those special occasions, "I find the truth to be, Handel, that an opening won't come to one, but one must go to it - so I have been."
Unquestionably, such reverend persons, in such a society, must accommodate their manners and their morals to the community in which they live; and if they can occasionally obtain a degree of reverence for their supposed spiritual gifts, are, on most occasions, loaded with unmerciful ridicule, as possessing a character inconsistent with all around them.
In forgetfulness of himself, and delicate service to her on all occasions, he was never to fail; to begin it, he answered Mr Meagles cheerfully, 'I shall come, of course.'
Now, sir, you see by my habit what my profession is, and I guess by your nation what yours is; I may think it is my duty, and doubtless it is so, to use my utmost endeavours, on all occasions, to bring all the souls I can to the knowledge of the truth, and to embrace the Catholic doctrine; but as I am here under your permission, and in your family, I am bound, in justice to your kindness as well as in decency and good manners, to be under your government; and therefore I shall not, without your leave, enter into any debate on the points of religion in which we may not agree, further than you shall give me leave."
The curse of those occasions is heavy upon me, for I always remember them.
The other lady, having no other arguments to use, betook herself to the entreaties usual on such occasions, and begged her not to frighten herself, for it might be of very ill consequence to her own health; and, filling out a very large glass of wine, advised, and at last prevailed with her to drink it.
On these occasions, in summer as in winter, a blazing fire was kindled for some days previously in the large grate, and the charcoal was lighted in the tripod-pan, to keep the Banqueting-Hall as warm as circumstances would admit.
What influence ill-treatment and profit have for this purpose, and how they may be the causes of sedition, is almost self-evident; for when the magistrates are haughty and endeavour to make greater profits than their office gives them, they not only occasion seditions amongst each other, but against the state also who gave them their power; and this their avarice has two objects, either private property or the property of the state.
I had a new suit of clothes on the occasion. And the married couple went to spend the honeymoon in Scotland.
What did I promise you should have, if you were good, upon a certain occasion?'